US Concerned About Uganda’s Human Rights Record

Posted November 2nd, 2011 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has voiced concern about Uganda's human rights record, saying Kampala has failed to respect freedom of speech, assembly and media.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday urged Uganda's government to respect the rights of its citizens, including minority groups.

Nuland accused Ugandan authorities of killing civilians while trying to disrupt protests, and arresting opposition activists and charging them with treason, even though, she said, “the legal basis for such charges is questionable.”

She also said Uganda's government has urged parliament to adopt draft legislation that limits public meetings of three people or more.

On Tuesday, a top human rights group condemned the Ugandan government's harsh treatment of opposition activists, a day after opposition leader Kizza Besigye was again detained by police.

In a report, Amnesty International called Uganda's treatment of its political opponents “repressive.”

Ugandan police beat Besigye earlier this year and fired tear gas as he participated in a protest movement called “Walk to Work.” He was placed under unofficial house arrest Monday when protests against high prices and corruption resumed.

Several other organizers of the most recent protests were arrested and charged with treason. They could face the death penalty if convicted.

Uganda's government dismissed the Amnesty report.